Skip to main content

Advertisement

Table 1 Value to biologists of using these behavioral, physiological, and ecological sensors on their electronic tags

From: An overview of behavioral, physiological, and environmental sensors used in animal biotelemetry and biologging studies

TypePropertySensorValue to biologistAdvantage/disadvantage
BehavioralSpeedReed switch, inductive coilRecord swimming or flight speedCan become jammed
Hall effect probeRecord animal movementsWill not become jammed
Piezoelectric transducer, MEMSRecord behavioral patterns, produce ethogramSmall and does not become jammed
TiltMercury switchMonitor changes in posture 
Altitude, depthMEMS altitude sensorRecord flight altitudeWorks with low pressures
Strain gaugeDetermine swimming depthsWorks only with high pressures
DirectionOptical heading sensorAscertain degree of directionalityCan become jammed
MEMS heading sensorMonitor degree of directionalityDoesn’t become jammed
PredationMagnetic/electrode sensorsIdentify time of feeding and prey 
SpawningUltrasonic detectionIdentify time, environment, and behaviorNeed to implant beacon in uterus of female
SocialityProximity sensorMonitor social interactionsTransmitter/receiver needed
PhysiologicalBrain, muscular, or heart activityElectrogramsRecord diverse physiological responsesElectrodes can become bulky
Gastric activitypH sensorDetect ingestion of prey 
Blood chemistryBlood extractorMonitor reproductive state or stressBulky with multiple syringes
Body temperatureThermistorRecord endothermy or ectothermySmall and durable
EnvironmentalAir/water irradiancePhotocellDetermine whether day or nighttimeExhibit light history; are non-stationary over time
PhotodiodeAscertain whether day or nighttimeNo light history, stationary
Air/water temperatureThermistorRecord whether tropical, temperate, polar, air/water massesSmall and durable
Dissolved oxygenDissolved oxygen sensorIdentify aerobic/anaerobic envir.Relatively bulky
Magnetic fieldMEMS magnetic field sensorUse to estimate latitudeVery small and accurate